Saturday, April 11, 2009

Borussia falls to Wolfsburg

Heading into Saturday's visit of Wolfsburg visit of Borussia-Park, the task for die Fohlen was a great one. Since the start of the Rückrunde, Wolfsburg has been on a mission, plundering team after team and leaving nothing in their wake. In the prior nine matches they had filled opposition nets twenty-three times while discovering a defending stance that allowed only eight strikes against. In the relegation fight, points at home are near mandate but against a side that made of Bayern München the week before defeating 5-1, few could have counted on a positive result.

While many expected Borussia to sit on their heels from start to finish, it was clear that Hans Meyer had something else in mind. Being a man of his word, he echoed his words of Courage and Faith as Borussia put down the defending walls and decided to go toe-to-toe with the Bundesliga's best. Your blood for mine, nothing left to chance and today is the day to stir ghosts of past. To some the eventual 2-1 loss was an unlucky outcome but the fact of the matter was that it was a proud effort and possibly the best of the year. Borussia played with bold confidence and while their is no escaping the Hinrude, Hans Meyer has the club playing at an entirely different level.

The match started with Borussia making its visitors aware they are no bottom table side and will do what Bayern the week before couldn't and for the matter, what the rest of the league has rarely shown in the second-half of the year. Attacking with a killer instinct Marco Marin set the wheel in motion with both Alexander Baumjohann and Karim Matmour unable to finish top quality scoring chances. Marking of Wolfsburg much talked-of Bosnian goal scores Edin Džeko and Zvjezdan Misimović was near perfect as their opportunities were cut with a razors swipe. Of one of the few errors, at the twentieth minute Misimović’s cross into the box was headed-in by Džeko to give Wolfsburg the 1-0 lead. Instead of backing down, as voices rang out through the Park, Borussia attacking. Breathing fire, Wolfsburg looked like they were under siege at times and should have leveled when Michael Bradley was played in with Roberto Colautti to his left. As Wolfsburg 'keeper Diego Benaglio came out to close the angle, he must have lost track of the Israeli international as he could have easily sent the ball to him for an easy goal but instead saw his attempt denied. The final eleven minutes was a turbulent ride of jubilation and sorrow as at the seventy-ninth minute Marco Marin’s perfect free-kick into the box was headed-in by ex-Standard de Liège man Dante to final square the match. Attacking on either end continued and the lead was lost in an unfortunate series of events with five minutes left. As Wolfsburg striker Džeko was readying to shoot from just outside the box, Paul Stalteri and Sascha Riether were surging forward five or so metres in front of him. His shot appeared to strike Stalteri from behind, holding it up and as Dante tried to clear Riether stabbed at the ball and sent it to Logan Bailly's right an into the net to make it 2-1. A tough loss, not made easier with Cottbus' victory over Bielefeld, but a performance that all true Borussia fans can be proud of.